DA NANG (Sputnik) — US President Donald Trump is unlikely to change his position on participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Network Chairman Robert Moritz told Sputnik.
"On TPP, I don't think we are going to see a significant change in the US point of view around TPP, which then causes the existing participants to say – what can I do without the United States? And then to trade with the US on a bilateral basis or some new basis," Moritz said.
"I don't think I can predict with any accuracy what may happen from Trump's visit here, but let's look at the positives – the fact that the APEC community has come together, and the United States is here in full force, and Trump will be here with [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin, [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping] and others is actually a good sign. A year ago, the United States was not sufficiently visible [at the APEC summit in Peru], and everybody assumed the worst. But 12 months later, it actually came out okay. It is not as bad as we were concerned about."
In January 2017, Trump signed an executive order to withdraw from the TPP signed by 12 Pacific countries on February 2016, which was criticized for undermining standards and regulations on environmental protection, health and safety, as well as workers’ rights, saying that the country would benefit more from bilateral deals rather than multilateral agreements, which put the future of the free trade project into question.